Finasteride was first introduced as a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate).

In 1997, Merck was successful in obtaining FDA approval for a second indication of finasteride (1 mg) for treatment of Male Patterned Baldness, which was marketed under the brand name Propecia.

Finasteride stops the conversion of Testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which attacks the follicle. Cipla Pharmaceuticals then brought out a generic version of Propecia: Finpecia, available in South Africa.

Propecia/ Finpecia can only be used by men and should not be used by women or children.